Two autocrine proteins of 14 and 12 kilodaltons that induce the synthesis of rabbit fibroblast collagenase were identified. The proteins were purified from serum-free culture medium taken from rabbit synovial fibroblasts stimulated with phorbol myristate acetate. The amino-terminal sequences of the 14- and 12-kilodalton species were ∼60 to 80 percent homologous with serum amyloid A and β2 microglobulin, respectively. The polyacrylamide gel-eluted proteins retained the ability to induce collagenase synthesis in rabbit and human fibroblasts. These autocrine proteins may provide a means to modulate collagenase synthesis in normal remodeling as well as in inflammation and disease states.
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